As part of its Music Education Webinar series, Adelphi University Department of Music presents Highlighting Blackness in American Roots Music with Brandi Waller-Pace.

Highlighting Blackness in American Roots Music

Old-time, string band, and other styles of early U.S. roots music are often represented as White musical traditions, though they are actually deeply rooted in Black culture. The historical marginalization and erasure of blackness in this music throughout history has resulted in deficient narratives that culture bearers, artists, and scholars have been working to correct. In this workshop, attendees will learn about Black artists and traditions to incorporate into their instruction, painting a more complete picture of the past and present of roots music in the United States.

The Adelphi University Music Education Webinar Series offers music educators exciting opportunities to engage with renowned experts in the field while exploring current topics in music education. All sessions will consist of informative presentations and moderated Q&A sessions.

Brandi Waller-Pace is a Fort Worth-based musician, educator, and scholar/activist. A former general music educator, she is the Founder and Executive Director of Decolonizing the Music Room, a nonprofit with a mission of centering Black, Brown, Indigenous, and Asian voices and experiences in music education and related fields through providing training, content, and community programming.

During her 11½ years as a music educator, she co-wrote music curriculum for the Fort Worth Independent School District and participated in district and community racial and systemic equity work. In 2019 and 2020, Brandi helped formulate curriculum standards for Texas’ first state-approved African American Studies course. She presents and speaks nationally and internationally on topics ranging from decolonizing and antiracist philosophies in music education to jazz and the Black history of early American music. Brandi also sits on the board of directors of Folk Alliance International.

She is the creator and organizer of the Fort Worth African American Roots Music Festival, created to highlight blackness in early American music. Brandi has co-produced and curated artist lineups for events with Bluegrass Pride, The Bluegrass Situation, and PineCone.

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